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Former Miramonte principal head of new school

August 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Martin Sandoval, who was principal at Miramonte Elementary during its shocking child sex abuse scandal, is now the head at President Avenue Elementary in Harbor City.

Sandoval held two meetings for parents on Tuesday and Wednesday to answer any questions. Some parents are concerned.

"I don't feel comfortable with someone like that protecting my child and students here," said parent Adriana Dillon. "It's frustrating that because of the community, they think that they can just do that."

The LAUSD says for the past year, Sandoval has been working in the North East Service Center. President Elementary is his first post as principal since leaving Miramonte.

Two former Miramonte teachers, including Mark Berndt, are awaiting trial on numerous counts of lewd acts with children.

In a statement, Superintendent John Deasy said: "These incidents impacted everyone at Miramonte, but we are glad that Mr. Sandoval is healing with the community and returning to a school site - the place where he belongs. He will be an effective leader for the school."

Most who arrived for Wednesday's meeting with Sandoval, including teachers and staff, said he deserves a chance.

"There's a lot of people that do stupid things, and you can't watch everybody all the time," said parent Leonardo Salazar. "I say we give this guy a chance. He seems like he could be a great guy."

Attorneys representing students in civil suits against the district disagree. They say Sandoval didn't act quickly enough after learning of the alleged abuse, and Sandoval has been named as a defendant in the cases.


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